Things to do in Chisinau – Moldova

Chisinau is the capital city of Moldova which is landlocked between Romania and The Ukraine.  Things to do in Chisinau;

  • Triumphal Arch
  • Stephen the Great Park (Stefan cel Mare Central Park)
  • Stephen the Great Monument
  • Nativity Cathedral
  • Liberation Monument
  • Museums of Chisinau

There are a decent amount of reasonably priced hotels in Chisinau.  I chose in the Hotel Cosmos which is a historic Soviet era hotel.

Triumphal Arch

Things to do in Chisinau - Triumphal Arch

Located in the center of Chisinau is it’s very own Triumphal Arch. It was built in 1841 to commemorate the victory of the Russian army over the Ottomans.  It’s also known as the Arc de Triomphe or the Holy Gate.  Moldova is a young country which gained independence in 1991 when the Soviet Union broke up.  The independence celebrations were held at the Triumphal Arch.  There is talk about Moldova unifying with Romania and joining the EU but for now it’s an independent European country outside of the EU.

Did you know there are also triumphal arches in Bucharest, Thessaloniki and even Pyongyang, North Korea?

Stephen the Great Central Park (Stefan cel Mare Central Park)

Things to do in Chisinau - Stefan cel Mare Central Park

Stephen the Great Central Park is located in the center of Chisinau.  As a matter of fact it used to be called Pushkin Park.  In the 1820’s Alexander Pushkin himself used to stroll around the park.  Additionally, the park is a popular meeting place for lovers and often referred to as the ‘park of lovers’.  If you’re meeting someone in Moldova for a date, you may want to meet in this park!  Within the park is an avenue full of statues and busts.  These busts are famous Moldovan and Romanian authors and social figures.  Finally, there are a few rides for kids, so if you are visiting Chisinau with kids you may want to check out this park.

Stephen the Great Monument

Located in the center of Stephen the Great Central Park is the Stephen the Great Monument of Chisinau.  Stephen the Great also founded some of the painted monasteries in Suceava, Romania.  During Soviet times the monument was moved to Vaslui in modern day Romania.  The Pushkin monument was the centerpiece of the park under Soviet rule which is why it was called Pushkin Park.  An interesting fact is that this was the second park in the world to get a Pushkin monument after Moscow.

Nativity Cathedral

Things to do in Chisinau - Nativity Cathedral

The Nativity Cathedral was built in the 1830’s and is the most important orthodox church in Moldova.  It’s also a stunning and picturesque building.  The church has twice been seriously damaged, particularly during world war II.  However, the church you see nowadays was reconstructed in 1997 and appears brand new.  Lastly,   there is also a Nativity Cathedral in Riga Latvia.

Liberation Monument

Things to do in Chisinau - Liberation Monument

The Liberation monument of Chisinau was erected to commemorate the liberation of Moldova in 1944.  The Soviet Union annexed Moldova from Romania at the end of the second world war.  For this reason, they speak Romanian in Chisinau.  The monument looks like a smaller version of the Washington Monument in the USA.

Museums of Chisinau

Things to do in Chisinau - Noul Neamt Monastery

Chisinau has a large selection museums including;

  • National Museum of History of Moldova
  • National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History
  • Military Museum
  • National Art Museum

Additionally, the Noul Neamt Monastery is another building worth photographing.

Chisinau to Odessa by Minibus

The minibus from Chisinau Nord station to Odessa takes around 3 hours.  You have to be careful which bus you take to Odessa because some pass through Transnistria.  Transnistria is a country not recognized by the UN as the UN classes Transnistria as being part of Moldova.  You may be questioned by immigration whilst passing through the unrecognized country, in fact you may not get stamped out of Moldova at all.  I chose a minibus which did not pass through Transnistria but afterwards I wish I had.  It would have been another country to add to the list.

Odessa to Kharkov

2019-01-02T20:59:32+00:00September 3rd, 2017|Eastern Europe, Moldova|32 Comments


  1. Soraya September 3, 2017 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    How interesting! I have only hear quite little about the young country of Moldova – so lovely to learn more about the capital through your post. The park of lovers sounds interesting! Noul Neamt Monastery looks oh so Instagrammable – those gold domes are amazing.

  2. yukti September 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Wow such a nice coverage on a off-beat destination which very few people must be knowing. I was never knowing of Moldova and really love to read this post as I always love these Baltic countries a lot. Triumphal arch is stunning and also weather is beautiful with sun all around. Thanks for introducing such a nice place to me.

  3. luzel September 3, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    One of the reasons I love reading blogs is because I then discover new destinations I haven’t been to before! Chisinau, Moldova seems so cool and interesting! I’d love to come here and just walk around. It’s incredible they have their own Arc de Triomphe!

  4. Abhinav Singh September 3, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    I love the way you document travel by road in your blog. I hadn’t even heard about Chisinau or Moldova until I read this. I am sure it must be as beautiful as its more famous cousins Romania and Ukraine. It looks like a beautiful place. I like traveling to obscure places like these.

  5. Nicole Anderson September 3, 2017 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Definitely a place that has a lot of interesting history that not many outsiders would know about. To me it looks like a really delightful place to visit. It looks bright, clean and well maintained with such interesting artistic creations in terms of buildings, monuments and statues. The value accommodation found in these parts makes it affordable to most. Never heard of Transnistria and it’s odd that they are independent by not recognized by the U.N.

  6. Abigail Sinsona September 4, 2017 at 7:14 am - Reply

    It was nice to be virtually toured around this amazing destination. I think it deserves more love, as judging by your photos it is incredibly beautiful. The Stephan the Great Park is so beautiful!

  7. ada September 4, 2017 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Moldova sounds so interesting! So much to see! I love visiting countries with a great history! That Pushkin Park looks so lovely, definitely looks like a perfect place for lovers!

  8. Harry September 4, 2017 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    We have a friend who have always invited us to visit this area (he lives not so far from here) and now thank to your post we know why.
    With your photos you inspired us and we’d love to try your same experience especially the tour around the museums (my favorite is the National Art Museum).

  9. Ivan September 4, 2017 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Hey, James! Thank you for a great read!
    Eastern Europe has so many hidden gems to discover so far!
    Looking forward to reading more Ukraine posts!

  10. Maria September 4, 2017 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Very interesting, I never knew Moldova was so beautiful. As a traveler and European I feel like I have heard way to little about Moldova. It looks like a hidden treasure.

  11. Lisa September 5, 2017 at 7:32 am - Reply

    I’ve never heard of Tranistria, so thanks James for enlightening me with this post! It’s a shame you didn’t take the bus that passed through there; I think it would qualify as another country to tick off the list! Chisinau looks interesting, and it’s strange to see they have an Arc de Triomph too. The cathedral looks quite new considering it was built in 1830!

  12. Kate Storm September 5, 2017 at 9:24 am - Reply

    I’ve always been curious about visiting Moldova, and Chisinau specifically. It has always looked very interesting to me! Great overview of things to see, and I love how you can easily head to Odessa before or after.

  13. Jaypee September 5, 2017 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Interesting! So much places to explore on the eastern side of Europe. The places were off my radar and you took me there.

  14. Suzanne September 5, 2017 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    You’re an ace when it comes to these road trips! I had no idea that Moldova is such a young country. That being said, there are still many interesting sites. I also am intrigued by the fact that Transnistria is unrecognized by the UN. Did not know that!

  15. Marcie September 5, 2017 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    My bff from college went to Moldova in the Peace Corps! I had never heard of it until then. Your photos make me want to explore Eastern Europe!

  16. Claire Summers September 6, 2017 at 1:22 am - Reply

    I’ve never even heard of Moldova! I’m normally pretty good at Geography but there are so many new countries in Eastern Europe. Fascinating and informative post. I love reading about your road trips!

  17. Jessica September 6, 2017 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Really informative post! I would love to visit Chisinau, Moldova. It’s very interesting they have an Arc de Triomphe there as well. I’ve not found much information on Moldova so I’ll be saving this post for later!!

  18. Ania September 6, 2017 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    I’ve wanted to visit Moldova since I listened to a podcast about an American expat that lives there. I’ve done some extensive research and it looks so beautiful. Will definitely have to make my way there and do this trip.

  19. Thomas September 6, 2017 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    The reason why I love reading travel blogs is I get to learn about places which I never knew existed. Chisinau is one of those places and it looks so beautiful especially the Arc de Triomphe. I’d love to walk around the same park Pushkin himself did!

  20. Archana Singh September 7, 2017 at 3:10 am - Reply

    This post came just in the nick of the time. As I might be visiting it next month. I had not heard much about Chisinau. But with so much of interesting history written in your post, I would love to visit it.

  21. Carola September 7, 2017 at 3:56 am - Reply

    Such an interesting read! Moldova is one of those countries that I always have difficulties classifying as a country 🙂 But it looks like it might be time to go there (before it joins Romania) and, of course, visit Transnistria… It’s a fascinating region to travel in!

    Happy continued travels!

  22. Sindhu Murthy September 9, 2017 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    I never knew there was a country named Moldova. Probably I should start spending more time studying the globe on my desk. Being an offbeat traveler myself, I really love how you discover new destinations and present them to your readers.

  23. Brooke September 9, 2017 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    Interesting! I learned a few things in this post- can I ask why you had Moldova on your list of places you want to see? Did you like the culture/the food?

  24. Bob September 10, 2017 at 1:44 am - Reply

    It would be exciting to learn about a country with such a rich history of changing hands in the past 100 hundred years. It would be interesting to learn about how Chisinau and Moldova got its start back in 1991. I would definitely go on that tour.

  25. Alberto C. September 12, 2017 at 9:43 am - Reply

    This was a very interesting read, Moldova is not your typical tourist destination, but the capital looks like a very cool place to visit! I really liked the eastern European architecture, I’ll be adding Chisinau to my list of places to visit for sure!

  26. Liana September 13, 2017 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    That’s so interesting and I’ve seen so rare post about Moldova, and it’s not such a typical tourist destination, but it sounds like a cool place to visit! I love visiting eastern European places because they have so much history hidden such as the Soviet era.

  27. Amy Rebecca Krigsman September 25, 2017 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    I’ve barely heard anything of Moldova, aside from its name. And it also has an Arch de Triumph! Haha. It’s nice to see lesser known destinations like these get some love.

  28. Angie September 30, 2017 at 6:10 am - Reply

    Moldova is becoming a real country of interest and the more I see of it, the more it interests me. I will definitely be checking this out when I visit Eastern Europe, so many cool places to add to my list, pinned!

  29. Tracy October 3, 2017 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    I had never heard of Chisinau! In fact I knew little or anything about Moldova itself! Great to learn about these places James. Transnistria sounds interesting too!

  30. Shona @ October 5, 2017 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Another lesser known destination to add to my list. Great architecture and very Instagrammable, although your photgraphy makes any city look Instagrammable. Interesting info about Transnistria. I wouldn’t be keen on the hassle but it would be a fun story to tell after the fact. 🙂

  31. Carmen Baguio October 5, 2017 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    I didn’t know anything about Chisinau so now I have a new part of the world to explore. The architecture looks amazing!

  32. Garth October 6, 2017 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Moldova is somewhere you don’t read much about, fascinating to learn about Chisinau, never heard of it or knew it was the capital! Looks like it has nice architecture. Once we’ve spent all our money on long haul destinations, hoping to discover a lot more of Europe, especially the lesser known countries like Moldova, will be referring to your posts!

Leave A Comment